After getting criticized for his response following a Boston Celtics loss to the Orlando Magic last weekend, Kyrie Irving said he called LeBron James to apologize for being a selfish, young teammate.
"I had to call [LeBron] and tell him I apologized for being that young player that wanted everything at his fingertips, and I wanted everything at my threshold. I wanted to be the guy that led us to a championship. I wanted to be the leader. I wanted to be all that, and the responsibility of being the best in the world and leading your team is something that is not meant for many people. [LeBron] was one of those guys who came to Cleveland and tried to show us how to win a championship, and it was hard for him, and sometimes getting the most out of the group is not the easiest thing in the world," said Irving.
Irving criticized his younger teammates' inability to handle expectations following the loss to the Magic. Jaylen Brown responded to Irving's comments by saying the Celtics "can't be pointing fingers", to which Irving also apologized for in public.
Irving said he's grown to appreciate James' style of leadership now that he's in the same place that James was when Kyrie was a young player. Irving admitted that he took criticism from James too personally.
"I feel like the best person to call was him, because he's been in this situation. He's been there with me. I've been the young guy, being a 22-year-old kid and I want everything. I want everything right now. Coming off an All-Star year starting and this heck of a presence is coming back and now I gotta adjust my game to this guy. You take it personal, but at the end of the day, he wants what's best. And he has a legacy he wants to leave, and he has a window he wants to capture. So, I think what that brought me back to was like, all right, how do I get the best out of this group to the success they had last year and then helping them realize what it takes to win a championship."